There are a number of slightly embarrassing trends in my music consumption. For now, I’m just going to admit to an obsession with falsetto that compels me to listen to things that I normally wouldn’t. Moving right along…
The album, My Brother’s Blood Machine, is about half cheesy dance-able indietronica and half depressing acoustic lullabies. (I’m filing this under “morose shit”.) The sound is definitely experimental, progressive, and strongly features Claudio Sanchez’s impossibly high voice. On the dancey side, there’s “the Margetville Dance” and “78”, both of which sound like the b-sides of a mistakenly unpopular 80’s exercise VHS. On the soft elegy side, there’s “The Flight of Moses Early and Sir Arthur McCloud” and “Easter”, which are surprisingly great (for me) to ease out of bed to . Also, the lyrics have some sort of Elliott Smith-level-of-depressing conceptual back story to them, if you’re in to that. Not bad for the creeptastic lead singer of Coheed and Cambria.
I started listening to Her Words Kill because someone told me that the singer had an “angelic voice”. In retrospect, there’s not a whole lot that’s impressive about the proto-post-hardcore singer/screamer outfit, save Luke Pickett, the angelic singer. Luckily, Her Words Kill had the excellent foresight to disband and Luke Pickett became an acoustic solo act. The first track I listened to was “And Asleep I Am Your Everything” and the man’s voice is truly angelic… and by angelic, I mean beautifully androgynous (… and really everything the man does seems to be vaguely *politically* queer). In the middle of the chorus, Luke makes his uncommonly alto voice jump yet another octave at the end of phrases for a really nice effect. One of my personal favorites is “Blood Money”. I mean, when does anyone ever talk about male-victim domestic violence, much less write a song about it? The video for the song could easily be a slick promo for a domestic violence NGO (Peep it here.) More than the falsetto, Luke Pickett does a great job of creating believable male sentimentality. Since he mostly wrote songs about failed relationships, I’m glad he figured that one out. Good examples of this: “Cruel Love”, “Make Me Beautiful”, and “Dream Love Cure”, despite the drum machines. What’s tricky about listening to Luke Pickett is that some of his solo stuff seems to have actually been released under Her Words Kill. Also, he’s slated to release a new album this year, but he’s being billed as r&b, covering up his tattoos, pre-releasing awful pop tracks, and wearing tweed. I’m just going to preemptively say that I’m not excited.